Night Vision for Bees

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Night vision for bees, as reported in Nature, vol. 430, p848, 19 August 2004. Most bees go out foraging for pollen and nectar during the day, but since many flowers bloom at night, it would also be useful for bees to forage at night as well. The problem is that it is too dark for most bees, but not for the South American sweat bee, Megalopta genalis. This bee can see in the dark because its eyes “have acquired a suite of sophisticated modifications to the standard equipment”.

Bees have eyes made of separate lenses that focus light onto a light sensitive area called a rhabdom, which converts the light into electrical signals and sends them to the brain via optic nerves. M. genalis eyes have a much larger area of rhabdom, making their eyes 30 times more sensitive than daytime bees, and their optic nerves have extra connections to reinforce the signals from the eyes. The scientists who studied M. genalis also believe the bees brains further enhance the signals by a process of 'temporal summation' - adding together successive signals. They concluded the bees probably only see a blurry, jerky picture of the night world, but it is good enough for them to find their way home in the dark to the tiny (about 6mm or quarter inch) holes they live in.

Editorial Comment: The sophisticated circuitry needed for 'temporal summation' is used in computerised image enhancing technology and requires clever electronic engineers to design and build . It is therefore absurd to claim the bee acquired it by naturalistic or chance or random mutations. It is even possible that all bees had this once and many have lost it. Evolutionists should also ponder how many half evolved bees blundered around the forest in the dark before the evolving system worked. (Ref. insects, sight, technology)

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